Harri and New York City Hospitality Alliance Launch New Digital Platform to Combat Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace

NEW YORK, NY (February 21, 2019) – Harri, the next-generation software solution that helps hospitality businesses build, manage and engage their teams today announced, in partnership with the New York City Hospitality Alliance, a new digital anti-harassment and discrimination training platform for restaurants and nightlife establishments. The platform will provide hospitality-relevant training modules for employees, using a curriculum developed in partnership with Fox Rothschild LLP that fully complies with the Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act.

“Acts of harassment and discrimination have no place in our people-centric industry,” said Luke Fryer, Founder and CEO, Harri. “Aside from the entertainment industry, no other professional community was as seismically impacted by the #MeToo movement. The operational realities of the hospitality workplace require a more intensive and curated approach to educating our employees regarding workplace behaviors. The potential for damage is significant to both employees and owners, which is why Harri is taking an active role alongside our partners at the New York City Hospitality Alliance to help our clients mitigate risk and improve the integrity of the restaurant workplace.”

The platform, a module within Harri’s TeamLive workforce management suite, will comply with New York City and State requirements and will exceed the minimum legal standards by covering anti-discrimination laws. In doing so, the platform is intended to help cover two of the industry’s biggest blind spots. With the rise of minimum wage impacting profitability and a seemingly unstoppable onslaught of employee-related legislation, the industry requires a comprehensive solution to risk mitigation and help in ensuring that restaurants are a fair, safe, and welcoming place to work. Specific features of the platform will include:

  • Training Customized for the Hospitality Industry

  • Content Covering Anti-Harassment and Discrimination

  • Streamlined Platform Providing Legal Compliance

  • Audit-Friendly Functionality Providing Employee Completion Status and Record

  • Platform will be available in both English and Spanish

“We must stop sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, and help ensure our members comply with the newly enacted anti-harassment training requirements. That’s why we’re proud to partner with Harri to provide restaurants and nightlife establishments a high-quality training program that’s customized for the hospitality industry workplace,” said Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, NYC Hospitality Alliance.

The platform will be hosted by Harri and available starting April 2019.

Harri's new HQ welcomes Recruiters with a Breakfast Session on Recruitment & Sourcing!

On Monday 22nd October we took the opportunity to showcase our brand new headquarters by hosting a Tips and Tricks breakfast on Recruitment & Sourcing. The session was led by Cleo Clarke - Global Vice President of Human Resources, Strategy & Development for Harri and was attended by 16 industry representatives.

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After everyone arrived and settled in, time was spent discussing the following topics:

  • How to build an effective recruitment strategy

  • Why employee referrals are the most powerful source of finding candidates

  • Implementing the right practices that optimize resume review

  • What it means to network effectively and efficiently

Through sharing internal processes and opinions on the above topics, we were able to openly debate and discuss strategies, strengths and weaknesses with one another - learning and improving from our industry peers. By the end of the session, problems were overcome and innovative solutions had been created to keep up with the ever-changing HR landscape.

Thank you so much for the opportunity and for inviting us to break bread with you. I truly enjoyed it. Talent Acquisition Manager M & R Hotel Management

By the end of breakfast, the espresso machine had definitely been broken in and clients left the Harri HQ with full stomachs and something to think about….

Such a wonderful breakfast today- thank you for hosting! Senior Manager, Human Resources Standard Hotels.

Putting the new Harri kitchen to good use, we hired a private chef to cook up a storm! The event lasted two hours and was a huge success! Frittata and bacon aromas filled the air whilst Harri staff served out the food and drink, giving the session a warm and friendly feeling.

Cleo and our founder, luke fryer with all the event attendees

Harri On the Rise...Why We're Celebrating

This quarter has been tough on our competitors in talent technology platforms. There’s news of consolidation, leadership changes, and potential layoffs -- all cause for concern. Meanwhile, here at Harri HQ, we’ve spent these past couples of months celebrating some exciting milestones and we couldn’t wait to share them with you:

Top Start-Up

Cue the fanfare! Harri has been recognized as a Top-50 Startup in the United States by LinkedIn. The professional networking site weighed factors such as interest in the company, engagement with employees, job interest, and retention to rank the most sought-after startups where professionals want to work and more impressively, stay. LinkedIn cited Harri’s ability to make life easier in the hospitality industry – a tough sector with one of the worst employee turnover rates – by owning all stages of the hiring process, from sourcing hotel and restaurant workers to managing employee schedules. What an honor. "Five years ago,” says CEO Luke Fryer, “we began the Harri journey with a vision of creating the next generation of broadly capable, industry optimized, employee management technology. This was and continues to be an audacious but increasingly achievable goal that's validated by moments like this."

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Growing Our Team

While the job market suffers elsewhere, we’re happy to announce that we’ve just hired our 100th engineer and are on track to double that number in the next 12 months. Finding and retaining a skilled engineering team means we can continue to develop a powerful suite of tools to help you with your talent needs, create seamless and user-friendly platforms, and deliver unparalleled customer service.

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Expanding Our Global Footprint

Not only are we growing our own staff, we’ve hit a fantastic landmark in growing our customers. Since launching in the United Kingdom in May 2016, we’ve acquired so many great brands as clients. In fact, we just recently signed our 50th customer – Dishoom!

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Dishoom is an Indian restaurant chain that pays homage to the old Irani cafes of Bombay. Inspired by true flavors of home cooked Indian food, Dishoom’s founders are re-creating the community hubs they have seen to exist in the restaurants of Bombay. Among their dozens of awards, The Sunday Times recently ranked Dishoom 36th in their ‘100 Best Companies to Work For.” We count ourselves lucky to have such an innovating brand on board - not only is the food sensational; they are pioneers of great candidate experience and we are excited to help them grow through their people!


Powered by Harri, Customers Expand

When we help you build and manage your workforce, you’ll find that you have much more bandwidth to focus on other aspects of your business. That’s why we’re so excited when our partners expand into new locations and concepts. We’re on the same team.

Take ThinkFood Group. We’re currently helping them with talent acquisition and management for their brand-new location in Disney Springs, Florida. The concept, Jaleo By José Andrés, will feature Spanish tapas, paella and sangria.

We’re also stoked to be a part of Snooze, an A.M. Bakery’s incredible growth. After a record six new openings in 2017, the chain is on pace for eight new restaurants this year and 12 in 2019. We recently spoke with their Senior Vice President of People Resources, Brianna Borin, to find out her best practices for ensuring quality talent management as the enterprise continues to grow.

“People are your biggest asset. The second you lose sight of that, things can go really wrong, really quickly -- especially if you’re growing as fast as we are as a company,” she recently told us. “You have to power those assets to be the best asset they can be. Use as many tools and resources that can aid you in doing that well. It’s really critical.” (Watch the inspiring conversation here.)

This is just a snapshot to share that we’re celebrating big wins in how we’re building, growing, and investing in the next-generation talent technology platform for hospitality. In spite of what you’re reading about the fate of some of our competitors, rest assured, the future is bright.

How do you keep a strong level of Customer Service whilst your business is rapidly growing?

Being part of a rapidly growing company is always exciting, but also exacting.

It’s completely normal to feel like there isn’t enough resource to deliver the excellent customer service levels expected of your business. Although this seems like a problem, it’s a great one to have and it is important to keep in mind that no matter what stage your organisation is at, the principles of great customer service always remain the same:

  • Listen to customers at various levels and functions of the business to gain invaluable insight to take action

  • Immerse yourself into who your customer is and what they do. In other words, see their world through their lens not necessarily from the more convenient perspective of yours

  • Determine the ‘need’ from the ‘want’. Both are important to the customer, but finite resource means that you need to prioritise. Ask yourself: What is required to make my client’s business work better; What are they looking to achieve?

  • Under-promise and over-deliver

  • Measure what you are delivering (NPS). This enables you to keep track of individual and team performance and quantify improvement. Seeing improvement is really motivating for employees and customers alike

  • Be honest. If something does not go well, hold your hands up and learn for the future

  • Take your customers’ ‘temperature’: talk to customers regularly to gauge where your service levels stand with them

  • Share any customer feedback (good or bad) with the relevant colleagues in your organisation in goodwill, in the constant quest to improvement.

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The only thing that is certain during growth is change, and in all likelihood what the position is now will have changed in six months’ time. Flexibility and nimbleness are key. Engrained within your mindset before any change is executed or any decision is made should be the question: 

Will this have a positive effect on the customer?

It’s often easy to get distracted by the ‘noise’ and forget that the customer comes first. If you build this question into your company culture, you’ll find it hard to go wrong.

Ultimately, great customer service will create your strongest brand advocates. Advocates being those who, when addressed will positively recommend your business to another business.  

Advocates are a necessity to most business development. It is therefore arguable that customer service has the potential to be the biggest driver of business growth. It should never be ignored during periods of success but instead nurtured and built up using the principles above.

Supporting Mental Health in the Hospitality Industry

Today, Wednesday 10th October is World Mental Health. Mental health relates to a person’s psychological, emotional and social well-being. It affects the decisions we make, how we treat and relate to others and how we handle stress.

The hospitality industry can be a stressful place to work. It’s fast paced, the hours are long and sometimes anti-social and there is always pressure to deliver excellent customer service. If we let it, this can become overwhelming.

The newest client to join the Harri family is Caravan; a company that cares deeply about mental health and goes above and beyond to ensure their staff are well supported. We are so proud to have them on board!

Nicole Zachariah, UK Marketing Manager at Harri sat down with Elsa De Jager, Head of People at Caravan to chat about the importance of supporting mental health within hospitality, specifically the restaurant industry. Read the interview below:

Nicole: Why are mental health issues common in the hospitality industry?

Elsa: Working in the hospitality industry can often mean long hours, at times low wages and physically and mentally challenging working environments. Historically, there has been an expectation to just ‘get on with it’ e.g. chefs coming into work when sick, or never complaining even when doing back-to-back shifts.

Nicole: Do you think things will get better within the industry?

Elsa : Well, the positive news is that alongside a shift in the law to better protect employees, the culture and expectations of the industry are changing too. Career prospects, flexibility in the workplace and a culture of respect and well-being is emerging. Mental health should be one of the major things our industry focus on, collectively supporting each other to do better and facilitate improved working environments for our teams.  

Nicole: What is Caravan’s position when it comes to mental health support in the workplace?

Elsa: At Caravan, we have always championed a culture of mutual respect, inclusivity, diversity and support. We are actively looking at ways we can improve how we support our teams, particularly when it comes to mental health and wellbeing. The owners of Caravan- Laura, Chris & Miles- have always fostered and focused on a really positive work environment for their teams- both for front and back of house.

Nicole: Why is fostering a positive working environment and culture so important when it comes to mental health?  

Elsa: Creating a culture of teamwork and support among employees is key to supporting mental health. This is because there is no way we can expect our team to excel at work, if they don’t feel good about themselves in their role and in their place in the business. 

Nicole: What initiatives have Caravan put in place to support mental health?

 Elsa:

  • We are currently exploring how we can attract the best people who may not have the flexibility to do the traditional hours of restaurants. We have, for example, working mums who are managers, because we offer them flexible working hours and a supportive working environment.

  • We focus on great staff benefits, team development, staff parties and entertainment.

  • A recent focus of the business has also been to overhaul our process for internal communication by adding support roles (such as mine) so that if team members are suffering from mental health issues, they know they have someone to talk to who is equipped to help them appropriately i.e., what questions to ask, how to listen, and how to best support them.

  • In the future, we are looking to add a “well-being” segment to our Learning & Development annual calendar to include sessions on meditation, breathing techniques, stress control and life coping strategies.